7 Simple Steps to Protect Your Home When You Travel

A nice home exterior on a sunny day

According to a recent AAA travel survey, nearly 100 million of us are planning to take a family vacation this year, with 70 percent of those getaways happening during the summer months. And it is hard to imagine a worse ending to a summer vacation than returning to find that your home has been damaged or burglarized. To have peace of mind while you are on vacation, take time to protect your home with this checklist:

  • If you have a home security system, alert them of your travel plans and make sure the alarm is set properly when you leave. Display your security stickers prominently near your most obvious and accessible entry points like your front and back door.
  • Set timers on interior lights to give the illusion that someone is always home. Motion-sensor exterior lights can also prove to be useful for general home security when you are home and away.
  • Place a hold on mail, newspapers, and packages in your absence. Overflowing mailboxes and newspapers piled in the driveway are dead giveaways that you aren’t home.
  • Make a plan for lawn care maintenance. Have a friend or lawn care service mow the lawn at least once a week during your absence.
  • Alert a trusted friend or neighbor of your travel plans and have them check in every few days. They can take care of any unexpected deliveries and carry on with normal routines such as watering plants and bringing trash cans to the curb. 
  • Be prepared for a power surge while you are away. Unplug all electronics or make sure they are plugged safely into a surge protector.
  • Do not broadcast your travel plans on social media sites either before or during your vacation. Before your trip, inform only those who need to know. There will be plenty of time to share thoughts and photos of your vacation after you are safely home. 

If you are taking an extended leave from your home, we would love to talk to you about the storage solutions that Zippy Shell has to offer. Contact us today for a free quote and see how simple storing your belongings away while you travel can be!

Moving to the Piedmont Triad Area with Children

Family with children playing during a move

Whether your new home is in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, or a surrounding city, your new Piedmont Triad home is in one of the most family-friendly areas around! Your children will grow to love this area, but initially moving to a new city or town can be overwhelming for any child. And while you can’t totally eliminate the challenge of moving with kids, there are tips that can help ease the process. Here are our top tips for helping kids transition into your new life.

Give them something to be excited about. In the midst of saying goodbye to familiarity, do some research into the Piedmont Triad area to find events or attractions that will get them excited. There are a variety of family friendly attractions in this area that are open year round. You should have no problem finding something for everyone to enjoy at any age.

Involve them in the process whenever possible. Even the littlest task can make a difference in your child’s feelings towards their new home. Allow them to help you run a yard sale before packing. Give them markers and stickers to decorate their moving boxes. Let them help pick out decorations for their new room or choose where to eat dinner after a day of house hunting.

Give them space to say goodbye. Before your move, make one last trip to say goodbye to some of your child’s favorite places. You can also host a party at your old home as a celebration of the time your family spent there. Invite all of their closest friends for a special goodbye. 

Pack a “moving day” bag for each child. Pack a bag for each child that includes several of their very favorite belongings. Keeping these items close by can provide assurance throughout the move and allow access as soon as you arrive at your new home. You and your family are going to love the Piedmont Triad area! Zippy Shell is here to take the stress out of your move allowing you to focus on your family during this exciting time.

How to Prepare for Winter

As winter is beginning it is important to make sure you are prepared to weather the storm.

Insurance

First and foremost, make sure your home is insured, that way if you happen to have a home emergency involving a plumbing leak or a roof caving in from snow, you will not have an immense cost to worry about. It is also important to make sure your car is insured as well to avoid any damages caused by icy or snowy roads.

Thermostat

Slowly lower your thermostat during the day, and night as well, to prevent your wallet from taking a beating in the cold winter months. Bringing the temperature down by one degree a week can make a huge difference. If this is too difficult you can always layer up to make the adjustment easier.

Prep your car

Your car will go through a lot during winter weather. To make your drive more pleasant, throw an extra blanket and sweatshirt in your car for the drive while your car is still heating up. Make sure you also have a little shovel, salt, and window scrappers to avoid any problems resulting from snow.

Stock up

Stock your house with extra food and water in case you happen to get snowed in for an extended period of time. Keep extra shovels and snow salt in your garage to avoid having your car snowed in and having no way of getting out onto the road. Make sure you also have extra firewood if you have a wood fireplace, or have an extra gas insert if you have a gas fireplace. Candles, flashlights, and batteries should be easily accessible in case of a power outage.

Visit your doctor

Get an annual check-up to make sure you are healthy going into the cold winter season. Get a flu shot to avoid being bedridden for up to a week. Always remember to wash your hands and avoid sharing food or drinks with sick people. Check that your prescriptions are up to date as well.

Onsite Storage in the Piedmont Triad Area

A customer in the Piedmont Triad area was in need of storage space.  They were looking for extra storage that they could keep at their house to have easy access to the items they needed stored.  Luckily, Zippy Shell was able to provide a portable storage unit for them right at their home.  Our moving and storage professionals delivered the unit straight to their driveway.  Per their request, Zippy Shell easily maneuvered the unit into their backyard to be stored there.  The customer gained the perfect amount of storage space they needed without having the burden of taking up an entire space in their garage.
Zippy Shell’s portable storage units and onsite storage containers are perfect to serve any of your storage needs!  If you are looking for some extra storage space today, check us out for a quote here!

Redecorating in Houston, TX

Brian, a customer in Houston, Texas needed storage space while he was redecorating. To redecorate a few of the rooms in his home, he had to remove the furniture and other items in those rooms. He got a quote from Zippy Shell for a fair price and decided to have them store his items. Zippy Shell promptly arrived right at his house where their storage professionals helped Brian load up the portable storage unit with all his belongings. Zippy Shell transported the units back to their climate-controlled facility where the items stayed secure during the redecoration.
Once the redecorating was finished, Brian requested the items to be delivered back to his home. We helped Brian unload his furniture and move it all back into place. Brian gave Zippy Shell of Houston two thumbs up for bringing his items back safely! Give us a call today at 888-947-7974 for a free quote!

Store Your Belongings While Decluttering in North Texas

A customer in the North Texas area needed extra storage space while they cleaned out their home. After years of clutter piling up they finally decided it was time to get rid of some of their junk. In order to even be able to clean out their rooms, they have to remove big furniture items from multiple rooms as well as desks, tables, and chairs.
In need of a large storage unit, Zippy Shell was able to deliver two onsite storage containers right to the customers home. Our Zippy Shell professionals helped the customer load up everything they needed to be stored. The customer then was able to declutter their entire home thanks to the excess space they had after removing a lot of furniture.
The benefit of the onsite storage containers allowed the customer to access their belongings whenever they needed them without having to drive to a storage facility. The storage containers easily fit onto the customer’s driveway all while staying safe and protected for the entire storage period. Get a quote today for your Zippy Shell storage needs!

How to Eliminate Pet Odor When Selling your Home

You don’t want your house to smell of your pets while trying to sell your home. Use these tips to remove all unwanted pet odors from your house!

Clean off all your home’s floors

Your entire house is most likely covered in debris from your pet. Sweep and mop all your home’s hardwood floors to scoop up all the fallen pet hair and dander. Do this gently to prevent debris from getting swept up into the air. Vacuum every inch of carpet in your home, including small rugs.

Clean off furniture

If you allow your pet to go up on any of your furniture you will want to clean this off. Make a homemade mixture of equal parts water and vinegar and gently rub your leather couches with this on a cloth. For cotton couches, use a small vacuum and/or a vacuum hose to get the hard to reach spaces.

Steam clean

You’ll want to use a steam cleaner on any of your carpets to remove odors that have become trapped in the carpet’s fibers. Make sure the carpets are dry before allowing anyone or your pet back on them.

Wash all your linens

Put all your mattresses, pillowcases, sheets, couch cushions, etc. that could have picked up any pet odors through the washing machine. Air dry these to avoid damaging them in the dryer.

Air out

Change your home’s air filters to allow clean air to flow in and out. Open some of your windows to let the old air flow out and new, fresh air flow in.

Add a new fresh scent

Light some candles or install some air fresheners in each room to create a refreshing smell in your rooms.

The Best Food Hacks You Didn’t Know You Needed

1. Protect your Bananas

Put plastic wrap around the tops of your bananas to block the gases being released from your bananas which causes them to ripen.

2. Ripen your food

In the case of having food that is not ripe enough, put it into a brown paper bag. Trapping the fruit in the brown paper bag will concentrate the ethylene gas that is released from the fruit which will cause it to ripen faster.

3. Avoid the egg shell mess

If little parts of the eggshell have broken into your mixing bowl, use the already cracked eggshell to scoop them back up. This frees them from your bowl all while keeping your hands free from the eggs.

4. Deskin potatoes

Don’t have a peeler? No problem! Boil your potatoes in water then transfer them to an ice bath after. The skin will separate from the potato and you can peel it right off.

5. DIY strawberry cutter

Simply stick a straw through the bottom of a strawberry to break through the top to remove the leaves as well as removing the white center.

6. Brew your own coffee

You can still have coffee even without a coffee maker. Boil coffee in a pot of water with the same amount of coffee and water that is directed for a coffee maker. After about five minutes you can drain your coffee from the coffee grounds and drink up!

7. Reheat without drying out your food

When reheating food such as baked goods or pizza, place a cup of water in the microwave with the food to add moisture to the air and prevent the food from getting dried out.

8. Stop watering down your drinks with ice

When drinking juice, wine, etc. stop adding ice and drinking a watery drink. Freeze fruits like strawberries or grapes, then pop a few into your drink to cool it off without adding any water. If you’re looking to cool off your coffee faster or have iced coffee, fill an ice cube tray with coffee and use these cubes to keep your coffee nice and cold.

9. Avoid freezer burn

Put a sheet of wax paper over your ice cream when you put it back into the freezer to stop it from collecting freezer burn.

10. Measure out sticky foods without the mess

When measuring food like honey or peanut butter, put the measuring spoon under hot water for a few seconds prior to measuring the food so that it will slide right off with no trace.

How to Save Electricity During the Summer

It’s hard to try to limit your electricity usage in the summer, especially with all the heat we have seen this season! Here are our favorite tips to help you cut back!

1. Natural Light

During the day, open your curtains and blinds to light up a room without turning on a single light.

2. Turn off Unused Lights

When leaving a room, make it a habit to turn all the lights off. Even if you are going to be going back into that room in a short amount of time, all these small savings will add up!

3. Unplug

Even when your electronics are not in use, but are still plugged into the outlet, they are still using electricity. Unplug all chargers, appliances, etc. when they are not in use.

4. Run the Air Conditioner less

When you’re not home, turn your air conditioner off, or turn it up to a much higher temperature than what it is on while you’re home. This will reduce a massive amount of energy used to produce cold air when it is not needed.

5. Use your Windows

On a breezy day, consider turning off your air conditioner and open your windows instead to get natural air flow.

6. Reduce kitchen heat

Try making less meals that require frequent usage of your oven, stove, or microwave. Try grilling or making no-bake foods instead.

7. Wash laundry in cold water

Using cold water instead of warm or hot water will reduce the energy it takes to heat up the hot water.

8. Smart refrigeration

First, try to not hold the fridge open for multiple minutes at a time while deciding what food to eat. Second, make sure the fridge is set at its recommended temperature.

9. Air-dry

Air-drying your dishes on a dish rack versus heat drying them in your dishwasher can save you money. You can also apply this tip to your clothes by hanging them up to air-dry instead of putting them in your dryer.

10. Naturally defrost

When cooking something from the freezer, naturally defrost it. Let it sit out for a couple hours until it is not frozen anymore. This will help you save the energy you would have had to use to defrost it in the microwave. This will also allow it to defrost to its natural texture, instead of possibly being cooked unevenly in the microwave.